Understanding Paving Problems

When we started working on finishing our house, I realized we weren't going to be able to take care of the paving on our own. Instead of trying to haul in concrete and hope for the best, I hired a professional paving contractor to come out and help. They were incredible to work with. They listened carefully to our requests, and then they started laying the concrete and leveling the surface. Within a few hours, we had a driveway and front sidewalk that looked incredible. This blog is all about the benefits of working with paving contractors, and understanding the problems you might come up against if you do things on your own.

What Preparations Are Required Before Installing Pavers On A Driveway?


Installing driveway pavers is an option for homeowners with durability, easy maintenance and versatility in mind. In addition, pavers can be made from various materials, such as concrete or asphalt that come in an array of colors and shapes, which will allow you to select a design that complements the architecture of your house.  Whether you choose natural stone, brick or concrete pavers, it is important to adequately prepare the site. Below is a simple guideline that will point you in the right direction.

Sub grading

This is the first step involves excavating the existing topsoil and any underlying weeds or vegetation.  If you fail to remove all the roots and weeds from the soil before installation, they will decompose underneath with time, resulting in shifting or buckling of the pavers. Remove all the top soil from the site until you reach the sub grade layer below. Compact this layer using a grader to enhance stability.

Laying the base

The next step is laying the sub-base that will act as the structural framework of your driveway. The thickness of the base material will be determined by the weight of the pavers you plan to use. For instance, concrete pavers are heavier than their brick counterparts and require a thicker base. You can use a mix of fines and solids, such as crusher run and ballast as a sub- base. The beauty is that these materials are available in most hardware shops.  Compact the sub-base thoroughly to ensure they are no voids in this layer. When grading this layer, ensure that the center is slightly higher than the sloppy edges to enhance surface drainage of your driveway by allowing the groundwater to flow freely.


This is the last preparation that provides the layer on which you will lay your chosen pavers. This layer not only offers support to the pavers, but also accommodates undulations created by the variation in thickness of the bedding material. Doing so helps in maintaining the level of the finished paved driveway.  The most suitable material to use for bedding is determined by your choice of pavers. For instance, sharp unbound sand without any cement is suitable for concrete paving. On the other hand, moist sharp sand mixed with cement is ideal for sandstone pavers, as it allows them to be firmly bedded on the sub-base. Nevertheless, do not use building sand as a bedding material because it doesn't drain easily.    

You can comfortably carry out these preparations as long as you have all the necessary tools, such as a pick, grader, wheelbarrow, spade, shovel, string line, float, cement mixer and sledge hammer. However, if you need any help, you can contact a paving contractor like Branche Industries, who will gladly undertake the task at a fee.


22 March 2016